ITV starts 2020 with best on screen performance since 2009 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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These may be troubled times for the TV industry around the world, and in particular the commercial sector that depends on advertising, but the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV has best start to the year in terms of audience share for more than a decade.

ITV 7 april 2019On 23 March, after noting a general softening in advertising and restrictions on working practices in filming due to the Coronavirus outbreak ITV warned of a forthcoming significant drop in projected revenues. Yet the broadcaster’s main channel ITV1 marked up an 18% share of overall viewing in the first three months of 2020, its best annual first quarter performance since 2009 and the channel's fifth successive year of Q1 share of viewing growth. ITV main channel's share of commercial viewing (SOCV) was 26.7%, its highest since 2011.

During the first quarter of the year, ITV’s performance was bolstered by wide audiences including the biggest ever viewership for Saturday Night Takeaway with 10.6 million in late March, as well as, earlier this year, new drama such as White House Farm, which hit a peak of 8.7 million and McDonald & Dodds and Flesh and Blood both topping 6m at their peak, plus the launch of Saturday night hit The Masked Singer whose best episode touched 7.6 million viewers.

In terms of single episode consolidated performance, ITV’s top 10 shows were Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway which attracted 10.580 million viewers on 21 March 2020 followed by White House Farm with 8.673 million; the 30 March episode of Coronation Street with 7.838 million; Vera on 12 January 2020 with 7.819 million; The Masked Singer of 15 February with 7.571 million.

As ITV was revealing the performance figures, it also announced that it will partner with NHS Charities Together as the official broadcast media partner on a brand new appeal urging viewers to donate to the NHS and send messages of support to their staff. The NHS Charities Together Million Claps Appeal is asking anyone who can afford it to make a £5 donation, alongside a personalised message to NHS staff, simply by texting CLAP to 70507.

The broadcaster will dedicate Thursday 16 April to all the NHS heroes on the frontline of the fight against COVID 19. Right across the day, ITV will be thanking and celebrating all the unsung heroes in our NHS while also encouraging audiences to send their messages of support to their local hospitals. Please go to #OneMillionClaps to join the campaign.